PlayBall Indiana—The Indianapolis RBI Program
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a youth outreach program designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork.
To build good character, foster responsible behavior, encourage development of baseball and softball skills, encourage the enjoyment of healthy competition and teamwork, and build the values of honesty, fairness, integrity, inclusion and commitment to excellence.
- To give every youth who wants to play baseball, the opportunity to do so.
- To channel the athletic energies of at-risk inner city youth into organized supervised, wholesome baseball and softball programs.
- To provide strong role models for young baseball and softball players, and help them develop into responsible and productive adults.
- To prepare young players for college and professional baseball careers.
- To strengthen and expand the community of baseball enthusiasts in Indiana.
- To rebuild baseball in the inner city of Indianapolis.
- To organize and staff inner-city youth baseball clinics, camps, and leagues around Indiana.
- To send at-risk young players to area camps, clinics and tournaments.
- To provide year-round skills clinics and camps.
- To recruit and train coaches, umpires and participating parents.
- To educate coaches as well as parents about baseball, and provide mentoring opportunities for at-risk children.
- To manage a procurement program for new and used baseball equipment.
- To develop and coordinate area baseball tournaments.
- To conduct research into youth baseball issues and challenges.
- To secure and improve baseball facilities for wide usage.
- RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Indianapolis youth summer baseball and softball leagues and clinics in Indianapolis area city parks, community centers, churches, youth service agencies and IPS schools.
- Baseball equipment procurement and distribution.
- Year-round fundamental traveling clinics, camps and training seminars.
- Scholarships for at-risk youth to participate in Play Ball Indiana activities.
- IPS Middle & Elementary School Spring & Fall Baseball/Softball program for 10-15 year-olds.
- Aquafina Pitch Hit & Run Baseball competitions for boys and girls.
- “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” literacy and character building program.
Play Ball Indiana is governed by a volunteer board of up to 24 community and business leaders from throughout the state. Board members are selected by a nominating committee of the board and elected to a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms by the board. A Baseball Board of Advisors helps plan and evaluate the baseball and softball programs.
Staff includes an executive director, part-time fund development consultants, some summer interns and part-time seasonal contract staffers to assist with the programs and field maintenance. In addition, volunteer coaches and paid umpires work in the leagues and tournaments.
Programming is delivered through several Indianapolis city parks, IPS diamonds and at area high schools and colleges. Play Ball Indiana partners with the Reds Community Fund to renovate city diamonds.
Play Ball Indiana promotes baseball in Indiana and delivers its programming on an annual budget of about $275,000, of which most is raised through philanthropic means (grants, contributions, fund-raisers), with the remaining funds raised through individual, team, camp and tournament fees.
Funded in part by a grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation under assistance from the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs National Solicited Juvenile Justice Programs, grant # 2007-JL-FX0014. www.ripkenfoundation.org
Funded in part by the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund – www.reds.com
Funded in part by the Lilly Endowment Inc. – www.lei.org